"Big 5" of SA snakes

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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby BushSnake » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:36 pm

To add some extra details. The big five was not named because of their sizes, but because it was so dangerous to hunt them (also the reason that the hippo didn't make it onto the list and kills more humans in Africa than any other mammal). So the snakes that are most dangerous to "hunt":

Black mamba (Speed and potent venom)
Puff adder (Risk of stepping on it)
Gaboon adder (Also camouflage)
Cape cobras (speed and potent venom)
Afrock (Size and constricting ability)

If you take the same criteria used for the mammal big 5 then the boomslang, and some of the other venomous like vine snakes would be excluded based on their shyness and reluctance to bite.
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby armata » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:41 pm

Just so happens that the cornuta/inornata complex contains five species
so I nominate them as the 'little five' :)
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby CLSmith » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:25 pm

BushSnake wrote:To add some extra details. The big five was not named because of their sizes, but because it was so dangerous to hunt them...


Maybe also because they were so majestic and sought after for the African big game hunters... so here goes my list according to this methodology:

Black Mamba (the notoriously one-and-only infamous one :evil: The African Buffalo)
Egyptian Cobra (its African and apparently killed Cleopatra. The lion)
Boomslang (boemslaayng... the name says it all :-D The leopard)
Gaboon Adder (The rhino of the snake world! Go and try to catch it... :twisted: )
African Rock Python (The Elephant of the snake world)

And the left out Hippo? The Puffy.
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby Cradle of life » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:31 pm

Puff Adder (most painfull bite, and has killed in 18 minutes :shock: )
Stilleto Snake (Second most painfull bite and because it gets many a begginers finger :D )
Black Mamba (Most dangerous to work with in a store room with spades, pipes etc. and that is 45 degrees+ :idea: )
Cape Cobra (Can kill quickly - especially the southern specimens ;-) )
Black spitter (Can spit further than Moz spitter and are much prettier :D )
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby Sico » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:38 pm

@Westley, i was also thinking about the Fisk's instead of the yellow-bellied... i'd be equally happy to see either of them.
@CLSmith, I do like your comparisons there, well said!
Most of the lists contain the same snakes, ie the Afrock, Gaboon, Mamba, but there are some really interesting other ones that have popped up as well. This could lead to good debating!
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby marc bt » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:13 pm

Gaboon adder
Berg adder
Cape file snake
Boomslang
Black mamba
I would love to find those snakes in that order.
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby rolandslf » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:01 am

adrianx - I stand to be corrected, but currently the most dangerous snake in the world is listed as the Inland Taipan.
I think the Black Mamba only comes in at 5 or 6 on the worlds Top Ten.
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby dendroaspis » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:38 am

Only one nomination for a Forest Cobra? Hmmmmmm...... I would rather work with a pissed off Cape Cobra than a pissed off Forest Cobra :D
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby mgiddings » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:47 am

Some intresting choices, I like the little five armata :)

Crade of life, are you sure a puff adder and stilleto bite are worse than a gaboon bite in terms of pain?
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby adrianx » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:56 am

rolandslf wrote:adrianx - I stand to be corrected, but currently the most dangerous snake in the world is listed as the Inland Taipan.
I think the Black Mamba only comes in at 5 or 6 on the worlds Top Ten.


There is a difference between most dangerous and most venomous..

The Taipan is listed as the most venomous purely because it has the most potent venom for a land based snake but is rather shy and there has not been any recordings of human fatalities.

The notorious Black Mamba on the other hand has a very impressive track record when it comes to human fatalities. This serpent was created with a very potent venom, a very #$%^ attitude and has the speed to go with it. with these 3 factors combined you have yourself the worlds most dangerous snake.
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby rolandslf » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:24 am

Thank you for that explanation. I did state that I stand to be corrected. :D
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby adrianx » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:28 am

Don't stress mate
If you want to run with the big dogs, don't piss like a puppy!
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby Mamba no 5 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:08 pm

Ok my big 5 is:

1. Black Mamba ( One of the most notorious snakes in the world.)
2. Boomslang (It is a quite well-known snake overseas).
3. African Rock python (Africa Biggest snake).
4. Forest Cobra ( One of the worlds largest cobras.).
5. And last but not least Bush Viper ( He can kick me out of Sa Reptiles).
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby Hustler » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:17 pm

I think my big 5 would be
Black mamba (we all know why)
Afrock (Size, smell, strength and attitude from hell)
Puff Adder (quite a few recorded bites and they are wide spread)
Boomslang (1 of the most potent of venoms)
Then the 5th I'm struggling between:
Cape Cobra (Potency),
Forest Cobra (They are just too smart not to be in the list)
Snouted Cobra (Pissed off strong snakes, 2m snouted cobra would not be fun to handle in the field).
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Re: "Big 5" of SA snakes

Postby marc bt » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:22 pm

I heard and saw a program on Nat Geo wild, they said the most dangerous snake in the world was the Saw-scaled Viper due to it's potent venom, aggressive behaviour and because it is found close to human settlements. I suppose why there are so many deaths is because of the lack of medical facilities in rural Africa.
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